On Saturday, June 9th, the Massachusetts State House was the setting for the capstone event of Suffolk’s 2012 Alumni Weekend. And, for the first time ever, the alumni reunion dinner and awards ceremony included an honoree from NESADSU, Kodiak Starr (Graphic Design 2002). Currently Creative Director of Digital Strategy at the White House, Kody was honored not only for the attainment of his position in Washington but for his humanitarian work with Project M and in Kampala, Uganda.
Most of Kody’s family was there to watch him receive his award. His parents, Diane and Mike, one of his two sisters, Kivalena (his other sister, Kayla, was not present, though both are Suffolk graduates as well), and his wife of one year, Gabrielle Lamourelle, joined NESADSU Chairman Bill Davis, Graphic Design Program Director Laura Golly, and Sara Chadwick for cocktails and dinner in the Great Hall, under the flags of all the Commonwealth’s cities. (As none of us knew Kody had gotten married, Gabrielle came as a real surprise; however, a more charming partner we could not have imagined for one of our favorite former students. Gabrielle is currently an International Health Analyst in the Office of Global Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services. She and Kody have been married for exactly one year and are now heading off on a delayed honeymoon in St. Thomas.)
While awards in various categories were given to six others, Kody received the Young Alumni Award, for those with “demonstrated success in one’s profession or contributions to society” and who are within 10 years of graduation. The award also states: “He/she will have achieved a level of distinction which has brought honor to him/her personally and to the University, or to that alumnus/a who has demonstrated leadership capability, substantial indication of a commitment to the service of others, demonstration of potential leadership and/or distinction in the long term, and commitment to Suffolk and its mission’” As he honored Kody, Suffolk President James McCarthy noted that Kody is the first NESADSU alum to ever be so honored. Permitted only a minute in response, Kody managed to thank his family and the NESADSU community and his family before letting go with a hearty “Go Celtics!”
Two NESADSU alumni, Dan McCarron (Graphic Design 1962) and Steve Zubricki (also Graphic Design 1962), both of whom were celebrating their 50th reunions and both of whom had served on the reunion committee, took part in various alumni activities throughout the weekend but neither was able to attend the alumni dinner.
As Creative Director of Digital Strategy, Kody is responsible for everything from the logo for the recent G8 Conference at Camp David, to innumerable charts and graphs, now especially on the economy’s ups and downs, to web work and videos. His current job in the White House is, however, a political appointment, so a change in administration come September could mean the end of his tenure there. But, with his extensive experience in design, in New York and abroad, he’ll be a shoo-in for another fascinating position. So vote and we’ll keep you posted!